With the release of a new film, fans are expected to have countless wild experiences. However, one scene takes viewers deeper into Elvis’ story and provides insight many may not know about him.
Director Baz Luhrmann and cast Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, and Olivia DeJonge were recently spotted in EW’s Around the Tables series discussing an event that took place years ago: The opening night of King Elvis at Las Vegas’ International Hilton.
“We’re sitting in those glorious booths, and I’m amongst 200 extras – I’ve got my five hours of preparation on, but everybody’s waiting for him,” Hanks recalls, pointing to Butler.
“We were waiting for you, and the electricity of what we were shooting that day and the opulence of the set. And when it finally occurred, we all felt: There he is.”
“The curtain came up, and the music was blaring like crazy,” Hanks added.
“We did it many times that day, but every time that curtain came up, we all felt the same way: There he is. We could not take our eyes off him, and essentially, we got to see an Elvis show over and over again, and not once did it flag. That’s one of the most exciting days I’ve had on a movie in a long time.”
The day Luhrmann had his most unbelievable encounter during production on Elvis and potentially his whole career.
He was observing the extras go ballistic with thrill while seeing Butler as Elvis perform. Finally, however, it was the reply of a person among the crew member he has collaborated with for more than 30 years that sank it in.
“He goes, ‘Boss, I’ve worked on your Star Wars, and I’ve done your Superman, done The Thin Red Line. But what’s going here? I’ve never seen anything like this,” Luhrmann reveals.
“He’s like, ‘I’d pay money to be here.’ And I thought, ‘those extras would pay money to be here. They had the golden Willy Wonka ticket.”
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